1889 - Minnesota Chippewa Commission
Chippewa Indians in Minnesota - 1890 - 51st Congress, 1st Session - House of Representatives - Ex. Doc. No. 247
Report of the Minnesota Chippewa Commission, page 18

            On the 21st of August, 1847, the Pillager Indians at Leech Lake, Minn., ceded to the United States a tract of land bounded as follows:
            Beginning at the south end of Otter Tail Lake; thence southerly on the boundary line between the Sioux and Chippewa Indians, to Long Prairie River; thence up said river to Crow Wing River; thence up Crow Wing River to Leaf River; thence up Leaf River to the head of said river; and thence in  direct line to the place of beginning.
            This tract contains nearly 700,000 acres, and was sold to the Government for about $15,000.  The Pillagers parted with it, believing, as they were told, that it was for the occupancy of the Menomonee Indians, a tribe at peace with them as well as with the Sioux.  For generations a fierce war had raged between these two last-named tribes.  The Pillagers believed that if the friendly Menomonees were between the belligerents peace might follow.  By the treaty of October 18, 1848, the United States ceded to the Menomonees the above described tract in exchange for all their lands in the State of Wisconsin.
            The Menomonees, manifesting a great unwillingness to remove west of the Mississippi, by treaty dated May 12, 1884, receded to the United States the foregoing tract in exchange for a part of their old home in Wisconsin and the sum of $242,686, for which the Pillagers received less than $15,000.  According to Indian reasoning the consideration stipulated was never paid; that is, the occupancy of said tract by the Menomonees, thus protecting them from the incursions of Sioux war parties.
            The Pillagers, at the time of the cession, were told by commissioners that the said tract would be held as Indian lands are usually held, and that their friends, the Menomonees, would occupy it.  The commissioners were Isaac A. Verplank and Henry M. Rice.  The Pillagers from the time that they heard that the tract was not to be occupied by the Menomonees, as stipulated, have to this day considered that they have been injuriously overreached.  They have never ceased to complain of this, and never will until reparation shall be made.  We can not too strongly urge that the Government cause this matter to be carefully investigated, and in some way allow the Pillagers what may be found in equity due them.  Indians are not unreasonable when fairly dealt with, and as they are about starting out as citizens under this act, aid will be of greater benefit now than heretofore, and is more needful now than it can be at any future time.
            As to the damage done by the overflow of the reservoir dams, the Department is respectfully referred to the following communication:

[House of Representatives, Forty-eighth Congress, first session, Ex. Doc. No. 76.]
                        Washington, December 19, 1883
SIR: By a provision in the river and harbor act of June 14, 1880 (21 Stat., 193), the sum of $75,000 as appropriated for the reservoirs at the headwaters of the Mississippi River, to be used in the construction of a dam at Lake Winnebagoshish, with the proviso that all injuries occasioned to individuals by overflow of their lands shall be ascertained and determined by agreement, in accordance with the laws of Minnesota, and shall not exceed in the aggregate $5,000, etc.; and by a provision in the river and harbor act of March 3, 1881 (Id. 481), the sum of $150,000 was appropriated for reservoirs upon the headwaters of the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and the Secretary of the Interior is authorized and directed to ascertain what, if any, injury is occasioned to the rights of any friendly Indians occupying any Indian reservation by the construction of any of said dams, or the cutting or the removal of the trees or other materials from any such reservation for the construction or erection of any of said dams, and to determine the amount of damages payable to such Indians therefor, which damages, when determined, to be paid by the United States, with the proviso that such damages shall not exceed 10 per centum of the


< HOME >
< NEXT >
< NEXT >